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A live show touring a crappy album that works? - 79%

Wicket02, August 28th, 2008

Ok, for a show that starts out with A Change Of Seasons, this ain't bad. The song itself is great for a 24 minute epic. The first disc is great, showcasing Puppies on Acid, Voices (with a quick SW force theme intro), Take The Time (with Free Bird / Moby Dick teasers at the end), along with Sherinian's solo and the massive Scarred -> The Darkest Of Winters -> YTSE Jam -> Mike's solo.

Being a drummer myself, any of Mike's solos are incredible. Sherinian's wasn't, though, too short, and too heavily influenced by Lines In The Sand, which, although a great song, took away from his originality, which is simply a 30 second jam of him playing a few quick notes.

The next disc gets a bit foggy. Trial Of Tears starts with an intro to some cool teasers, including Close Encounters With The Third Kind, and ends awesomely. Hollow Years is definitely a week spot there, including Take Away My Pain. What? Seriously! You had Burning My Soul and Hell's Kitchen, 2 awesome songs from FII, my personal favorites, and you played Hollow Years and Take Away My Pain? For shame.

Caught In A Web is played excellently in this show, although Lie wasn't. LaBrie's voice faltered at times where I couldn't hear what he was saying. One song that he doesn't sing high on for the verses, and I STILL CAN'T HEAR HIM!

Peruvian Skies is a personal favorite, with the Have A Cigar and Enter Sandman teasers in there, it's way better than the studio version. I personally am a big favorite of solos, and John's is great, however, at times his soloing was, need I say it, "too crazy" where you can't hear the notes being played. If you can't hear the notes in a solo, what's the point of playing it? That said, the whole transition ending at Pull Me Under is fantastic, great way to close out a show.

Metropolis starts the encore, although after 2:30 they start to solo right into Learning To Live. That whole transition, and in fact, the whole 10 miutes of both of those songs were another week point. The songs could've been longer, but they weren't, Metropolis at 6:16, LTL at 4:13. Heck, I couldn't even tell I was listening to LTL at a certain point!

Ending the encore with The Crimson Sunset, the show isn't that bad overall, but could've been a lot better. Burning My Soul and Hell's Kitchen, as I said before would be much better and make the show so much better, since they would make such epic endings.

This show, however, is a great way to avoid getting Falling Into Infinity, since most of the good songs are already on here, and Burning My Soul and Hell's Kitchen are only better live. Overall, great album, but not perfect. Barely every live show is ever perfect.